Competitive bidding for coal blocks to begin soon: Minister

July 25th, 2011 - 6:22 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) The government will introduce competitive bidding for allocation of coal blocks by the end of this year in a bid to bring transparency in the process, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said Monday.

The process of identifying coal blocks for bidding in the first round has been almost completed and guidelines for this purpose will be finalised very soon, Jaiswal said at a stakeholders meeting here.

The minister Monday discussed detail guidelines of allocation of blocks with various stakeholders of coal industry.

The meeting was attended by representatives of industries, state governments and various central ministries. “The meeting discussed various options proposed for the bidding process,” according to an official statement released after the meeting.

Jaiswal expressed concern over the slow progress in mining operations in some of the coal blocks.

He said 216 blocks with geological reserves of 50 million tonnes allocated to various public and private companies can contribute valuable coal resources but progress in most of the blocks is not encouraging.

Jaiswal asked the state governments to set up a coordination committee at the state level under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary to review the progress of allocated coal blocks.

The central government will provide all possible support in this regard, he said.

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